Archive

Date

January 30th, 2014

The Quality of Accountability

    In the narrative of every political scandal comes the accountability moment. New facts slow to a trickle, and the next, insistent demand becomes: Who is being held accountable?) This is often a dumb question, asked for lack of a more fruitful topic and fueled by partisans more interested in point-scoring than problem-fixing.

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The Perils of Watered-Down Regulations

    “There’s a folksy saying my grandma taught me: ‘If it smells like licorice and tastes like licorice, it must be licorice.’ Now it has a corollary: ‘Or it could also be a 4-methylcyclohexane methanol spill into your water supply, so grab the children and run for your lives.’ It’s not quite as folksy anymore.”

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The Luck of the Pontiff

    President Barack Obama is going to visit the pope! He's been to the Vatican before, but not with this pope, who is perhaps the only person in the world almost everybody likes.

    Except Rush Limbaugh, which sort of makes it even better.

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Supreme Court can extend push for inequality

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Our political pastime: Lying about race

    Some people find weird ways to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

    While watching TV, for example, I was jerked alert by an ad touting deep discounts during Honda's "Martin Luther King Day Sale."

    Really? Somewhere during my upbringing, I must have missed King's "I Have a Dream of a New Honda Accord" speech.

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Obama’s Taxing Problem

    Does getting tipsy make it easier for you to bear President Barack Obama ‘s State of the Union addresses?

    Try taking a sip of beer, wine, or a mixed drink every time he says the words “tax” or “taxpayer” this time around. It’s not as extreme as doing it when Obama utters “America,” “jobs,” or “people.” But that’s a game for drunks, not disappointed voters.

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Modern Family Matters

    When I asked readers for "neglected topics" that journalists should cover more in 2014, one of the suggestions was a delicate but vital topic: family breakdown and the rise of single-parent households.

    This is an issue that, frustratingly, the right has hijacked and the left has been reluctant to confront. Yet it's intimately related to poverty in our country.

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Lawmakers Are Free Not to Become Narcissistic Jerks

    Mark Twain spoke for me when he said: “I’m opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.”

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Are Two Hops Enough?

    Or do we really need three?

    And why are we announcing to the world what calls we won't be monitoring?

    Listening to our president, I am at a loss. He is giving a speech. That's what it sounds like. He is announcing that from now on, "We will only pursue phone calls that are two steps removed from a number associated with a terrorist organization instead of three."

    Is that good?

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A Brief Selection of Heterodox Opinions

    Recent weeks have seen a decline in the kinds of abusive reader emails that keep a columnist feeling feisty. It's a long time since anybody informed me that I'm a cowardly elitist doomed to spend eternity in hell watching NBA games with Barack Obama.

    So to stir the pot here's a brief selection of heterodox opinions:

 

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